Moonrise Over Junk Food (Your Monthly Ticket to Weirdness)

For this month we explore landscapes created with junk food, insane Steampunk calculators, and a vampire hunting kit.

Blue Dye #1 Precipice from the series Processed Views 2014

Blue Dye #1 Precipice from the series Processed Views 2014

 

Junk Food Landscapes

Always on the look out for the latest and most surreal items this world has to offer, I was stunned by how  artists Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman used junk food to recreate classic photographs by Carleton Watkins. Look at how the food artists recreated a 1869 photograph of the Farallon Islands photographs.

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And now the Ciurej/Lochman version, titled Cola Sea (from the series Processed Views 2013).

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The artists use processed food to point out just how far our food has diverged from nature. They state: “As we move further away from the sources of our food, we head into uncharted territory replete with unintended consequences for the environment and for our health.”

Stempunk Calculators

Most of use think of calculators are objects from the computer age. Who can blame us when adding apps are available on smartphones or even Google.

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Check out these truly gorgeous beauties from an age where objects were crafted by hand. The calculator, built by Johann Helfrich Müller in 1784, evokes stempunk passion with it’s brass knobs and dials. Check out this close up the workings:

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To view more of these marvelous mechanical wonders, visit this site.

A Love Story Through Coffee

Although this short film features a food product, and thus might fall under the category of propaganda, it’s so charming that it captures my heart. The characters, a boy and a girl, are dusted onto the tops of 1000 cups of cappuccino. The story shows their courtship, love, and family. The commercial is for Ajinomoto General Foods’ Maxim Stick drink flavoring. Watch and enjoy.

Tim Kane

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Do You Want Your Fashion to Interact with the World?

Imagine a dress that would react to people around you. Lash out if you felt threatened. Light up if you were happy? Sound like something from Bladerunner? Think again. These dresses have become reality, thanks to Dutch fashiontech designer Anouk Wipprecht.

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This is Anouk’s Spider Dress 2.0. The spider leg epaulettes on each shoulder are actually tiny robots. They link to proximity sensors and a respiration sensor. This means that if someone moves aggressively towards you, and you don’t like it, your increase in respiration will trigger the mechanical legs to move up and into an attack position. Additionally the black LED shells stationed along the garment, meant to  resemble spider eyes, automatically flash in warning when someone gets near you.

Robotic Spider Dress [Intel Edison based] // 2015 teaser from Anouk Wipprecht on Vimeo.

Anouk’s original Spider Dress (designed in collaboration with engineer Daniel Schatzmayr) shows the sinister robotic spider legs. These legs also extend, but won’t react to the proximity of others. It was simply meant as a performance art piece about personal space.

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Although the Spider Dress is Anouk’s most recent project, he has experimented with interactive clothing for a while. Take the Smoke Dress, which covers the wearer with fog as soon as people approach. The Smoke Dress functions as a protective shield, the designer says, “just like an octopus in self-defense” envelops itself in clouds of ink.”

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Interactive Smoke Dress @ AUTODESK Gallery pop up Paris from Anouk Wipprecht on Vimeo.

Anouk also created her Synapse Dress which reads the wear’s thoughts. When the person is excited about something, this triggers the LED lights in the dress to glow. It creates a sense of vulnerability because everyone around you will know what you are thinking.

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Much of the interactivity in Anouk’s fashion are thanks to an Intel chip called Edison. Watch the micro-documentary about how the chip helps the clothes sense the users thoughts.

Interactive Intel-Edison based Synapse dress by Dutch fashion-tech designer reveals wearers metal states from Anouk Wipprecht on Vimeo.

One of Anouk’s earliest fashion and tech mashups looks like it came straight out of a Steampunk novel. The Faraday Dress lights up when exposed to the power of high-voltage, low-current, high-frequency, alternating-current electricity. That forking lightning you see in the picture is real. 94 metal panels comprised the outfit, cut out of a sheet of metal using the water jet.

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In this making of video you can see a hesitant model wearing the dress as the faraday device launches arcs of electricity at the dress.

Anouk Wipprecht lives and works in San Francisco. She strives to create fashion that will connect the body and the clothing. She began combining fashion and technology three years ago. A one year sting to Sweden offered her a chance to study “body, fashion & technology” at the Malmo university. There she worked on Arduino-based application possibilities and smart fabric concepting.

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Tim Kane

Weird Roundup for October

October is the creepiest month, so I’ve saved my creepiest weird tidbits for this month.

Optical Illusion Rugs

Want to creep out your visitors? Make them hesitate to step into your home? Then purchase one of these optical illusion rugs. They’re so good, I think I would scoot around the perimeter rather than step inside. See more here.

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Creepy Chair

Even if your guest manages to avoid the rug, would he or she be willing to sit down on this chair?

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Designed by Yaara Derkel, the cutout of the Coppelius Chair creates the shadow of a monstrous creature when lit from above. The best part about this chair is that when it’s lit in any other way, it looks just like a normal chair.

Cute But Deadly Forest Imp

Not everything with large eyes and fur is meant to be cuddled. Take this short film “Murphy” made by students at ISART Digital. It features a seemingly well meaning creature that torments a WWII soldier.

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An English paratrooper crashes behind enemy lines and has to rely on the help of this seemingly benign creature. I get a certain “Yoda” feel from it at times, but the end is hilarious.

FILM_FX MURPHY (2014) from ISART DIGITAL on Vimeo.

Macabre Cartoons

Most artists keep their sketches confined to the page. But not Troqman. His cartoons interact with the environment in hilarious ways.

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Found Object Bugs

These insects are created from found objects and create a steampunk vibe. Mark Oliver makes his “Litter Bugs” from gears, old eyeglasses, tins, and other things he collects.

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On his website, he describes how his art is a throwback to Victorian bug collecting. Each of his projects boasts a scientific name.

“Urban Entomology is Mark’s (Post Modern) bow of respect to the Victorian tradition of insect collecting, where the decaying and disposed – the ‘litter’ of modernity, is assembled to create illusory collage. He intends the work to fascinate from a distance, and reveal humour and beautiful art upon closer inspection.”

Stay creepy this Halloween and keep your eyes open for mischievous furry creatures wanting to help you.

Tim Kane

 

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One Week Left to Win Steampunk Tarot and Amazon Gift Card

Tarot: The Magician Blog Tour Giveaway

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In support of my first blog tour, I’m hosting a giveaway. There is only one week left to enter. The giveaway ends on Friday, June 20th. (See below to enter)

Blog Schedule:

Please patronize the sites that are supporting my debut novel.

Monday, June 9th: Chelsea’s Reading AdventuresOwltastic Promotions

Tuesday, June 10th: Tara Len WalkerParanormal eBooksDividing by Zero

Wednesday, June 11th: The eBook Promotions

Thursday, June 12th: New Age MamaA Book Addict’s Delight

Friday, June 13th: Tamaria SoanaReading, Writing and Roses

Monday, June 16th: fuonlyknewHarlie’s Books

Tuesday, June 17th: Clutter Your Kindle

Wednesday, June 18th: Book Talk Reviews

Book Review:

The first book review for the blog tour is in. Tara, from Dividing by Zero, reviewed Tarot: The Magician.

The story itself is well-written and engaging. Each chapter begins with a quote from a Romantic poet (Keats, Byron, Wordsworth, etc.), as Kassandra is a poetry lover. As a fan of the Romantics myself, I liked this added insight into the character and her interests (and her emotional state). This book is a page-turner; it’s fast-paced and the author keeps the action moving. I especially enjoyed Kassandra’s journey through the cards as she tries to solve the problems she’s faced with and find her way out. And the ending gives me hope for a sequel (or a series?).  

Read More at Dividing by Zero

Book Blurb:

When Kassandra Troy discovers an ancient tarot deck, her life takes a thrilling and frightening turn. She triggers The Magician card, and releases the mysterious and captivating Luke Rykell. He lifts Kassandra out of despair, dispelling the devastation she feels after her father’s death. But Luke has a dark secret. He wants the magical deck for himself. The only way Kassandra can save herself is to journey into the Tarot cards. But once inside, can she ever escape?

Irresistibly compelling and heart-wrenching, Tarot: The Magician is a superb fantasy tale that will haunt you long after you’ve read the last page.

Download the ebook from Midnight Frost Books as well as AmazonBarnes and Noble and Smashwords. Not sure? Read a free sample here. Or click on the fancy schmancy button below.

Snail Sample Button

Tarot Book Trailer

I worked for over two months drawing and coloring the panels you see in this trailer. I wanted it to be as special as the book. However, I was daunted by the music. I’m no musician. However, if it were silent, or had canned music, that would undermine all the hard work I put into the animation. Bradley Coy came to my rescue. For the full story on how the theme for the book trailer was created, read A Theme Song for an ebook.

Giveaway Details

By helping me promote Tarot: The Magician, you some gifts. This time around, I’m giving away the Steampunk Tarot by Barbara Moore and Aly Fell. It looks wickedly cool. I’m quite temped to order a second for myself.

steampunk-standout

 

You’ll also get some cash to spend. I’ll email you an Amazon gift card so you can buy your own swag.

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Click this LINK or anywhere on the image below to take you to enter the giveaway. You can also enter via Facebook. Hurry, this event ends Friday, June 20th!

Blog Tour PROMO

Tim Kane

Tarot Blog Tour Giveaway

TAROT word blog tour

When Kassandra Troy discovers an ancient tarot deck, her life takes a thrilling and frightening turn. She triggers The Magician card, and releases the mysterious and captivating Luke Rykell. He lifts Kassandra out of despair, dispelling the devastation she feels after her father’s death. But Luke has a dark secret. He wants the magical deck for himself. The only way Kassandra can save herself is to journey into the Tarot cards. But once inside, can she ever escape?

Irresistibly compelling and heart-wrenching, Tarot: The Magician is a superb fantasy tale that will haunt you long after you’ve read the last page.

Download the ebook from Midnight Frost Books as well as AmazonBarnes and Noble and Smashwords. Not sure? Read a free sample here. Or click on the fancy schmancy button below.

Snail Sample Button

Tarot Book Trailer

I worked for over two months drawing and coloring the panels you see in this trailer. I wanted it to be as special as the book. However, I was daunted by the music. I’m no musician. However, if it were silent, or had canned music, that would undermine all the hard work I put into the animation. Bradley Coy came to my rescue. For the full story on how the theme for the book trailer was created, read A Theme Song for an ebook.

Book Reviews

Don’t trust me. Here are readers who have read and commented on the book.

“I especially enjoyed Kassandra’s journey through the cards as she tries to solve the problems she’s faced with and find her way out. And the ending gives me hope for a sequel (or a series?)” by Tara at Dividing by Zero

Giveaway Details

By helping me promote Tarot: The Magician, you some gifts. This time around, I’m giving away the Steampunk Tarot by Barbara Moore and Aly Fell. It looks wickedly cool. I’m quite temped to order a second for myself.

steampunk-standout

 

You’ll also get some cash to spend. I’ll email you an Amazon gift card so you can buy your own swag.

15-gift-card-amazon

Click this LINK or anywhere on the image below to take you to enter the giveaway. You can also enter via Facebook. Hurry, this event ends Friday, June 20th!

Blog Tour PROMO

Stempunk Fetish Watches and Sculptures

I am truly a sucker for Steampunk as an aesthetic. Just a glance around my office reveals multiple gear or steam-related items.

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I’ve also had a yen for gear driven watches. Multiple pocket watches have come and gone (not really gone, more gathering dust on the shelf). Most never quite live up to the functionality promised by Victorian mechanization. Probably because they were made by modern hands instead of crafted by artisans. Regrettably, I end up with battery driven wrist watches that don’t look as sleek, but function none the less.

Still, my heart belongs to gears.

That’s why when I discovered All Natural Arts by Susan Beatrice, I was hooked. One look at the amazing work she’s done and you’ll slaver yourself into a Steampunk coma.

Here are some of my favorites:

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This is called The Beast of the Machine. The front view is extraordinary, but then take a look at it from an angle. You’ll see how Beatrice has built this image up, so it’s more sculpture than simply a flat illustration.

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This Steampunk Bunny has been crafted out of clock parts. Of course. What else would you use to fashion such an exquisite animal. I particularly like the curved pieces that makeup the ears.

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At first glance this appears to be a simple, albeit amazing, dragon sculpture placed inside a pocket watch case. But when you open it up…

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The dragon rotates and now you can see the flames shooting out. Astounding. I particularly like the chain that keeps the dragon tethered to the watch case as if it might fly away at any moment.

Beatrice has many more Steampunk creations, along with illustrations and fairies. Go ahead and check out All Natural Arts for yourself.  All of her art is for sale.

Tim Kane

Addicted to Vintage? Here’s Your Fix

Anyone who loves steampunk also falls into the vintage lot. It’s natural. Vintage and retro items just pull me back to a time when things were done by hand. The ornate scroll work and brass give me the warm fuzzies. I even have a board dedicated to this obsession on Pinterest. Then I chanced upon my vintage Valhalla: a blog called Vintage Me Oh My. This site is every retro fan’s dream.

The photo above shows vintage metal locks and skeleton keys. There’s even a double-lock!

The photo above shows vintage metal locks and skeleton keys. There’s even a double-lock!

 

The proprietor of this glorious site is one Megan Cummins, a graphic designer from San Francisco. She calls her site “online crack” for vintage goodness. And I’d have to agree. I just can’t stop scrolling through it.

An example of some vintage goods you can purchase through a friend's site.

An example of some vintage goods you can purchase through a friend’s site.

 

Traveling through her blog is like a trip through time. You loose yourself in the things that once were.

A forgotten casino sign.

A forgotten casino sign.

 

There’s a melancholy feeling that wells up inside me when I see these images. Some of them are so lonely and forgotten. Yet there’s warmth too.

These vintage style Ralph Lauren hang tags were found by Workingformorework, who compiled a set of images on their blog.

These vintage style Ralph Lauren hang tags were found by Workingformorework, who compiled a set of images on their blog.

 

You may notice that Megan doesn’t photograph these items herself. Instead she finds or solicits stunning pictures from others. She’s a sort of clearinghouse of vintage. Like something, then click over to the original site to view more.

A letter from the Civil War, located at The Carter House in Franklin, TN.

A letter from the Civil War, located at The Carter House in Franklin, TN.

Take a look for yourself and get your vintage fix satisfied.

Tim Kane